4th China Quality Conference

Opening Remarks Delivered by Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)


Excellencies, Distinguished participants,  

Ladies and gentlemen,  

It is a great pleasure to address this 4th China Quality Conference.  

Quality management is key to the quality of life itself. It safeguards and improves availability and accessibility to safer food, cleaner water, more fresh air and a greener environment. At the same time, quality management is essential for better education, more inclusive public health services and more reliable social security, ensuring a pathway to achieving sustainable development.  

As we commend China for stepping up on its journey from high growth to high quality development, I believe valuable experiences have been - and continue to be - gained in quality development and management. These experiences can be usefully shared with countries through efforts such as this Conference. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is still ravaging countries worldwide, reversing many of the past gains in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It is adversely affecting our lives, most acutely for the vulnerable and marginalized groups of society.  

Against this backdrop, this Conference provides us an opportunity to reiterate the growing importance of quality-centered approaches for socioeconomic development in the post-pandemic recovery phase and the way towards building back better. 

Distinguished participants, Ladies and gentlemen,  

The pandemic has revealed that quality development must focus on some vital aspects: 

First, more rigorous and robust policies, regulations and monitoring and evaluation tools for quality management must be promoted through policy dialogue and recommendations, sharing of good practices and expertise, as well as lessons learned at all levels of government, academia, the private sector and civil society. 

Second, while the world is going more virtual and the pandemic is further accelerating the shift to digital spaces in production and services, technology-driven innovation and digitalization in all spheres of quality control and management become imperative. 

Third, Green development is at the core of quality development and must be emphasized during quality control and management, including policy formulation, production monitoring and product evaluation. 

To address these aspects, some key priorities can be readily identified. 

For instance, greater importance should be attached to national policies and strategies on quality development that support innovation for environment-friendly, climate-resilient and sustainable transformation and the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. 

Moreover, we can intensify efforts to improve quality management by encouraging new approaches and leveraging the positive potential of digital technologies and artificial intelligence, including through increased investment by governments, research institutions and the private sector. 

Finally, platforms, networks and mechanisms at all levels on quality development should be established, strengthened and upscaled to enable effective dialogue on policy formulation, sharing of successful experiences and practices. Furthermore, it will facilitate collaboration in the areas of standardization, accreditation and certification amongst government agencies, researchers and experts, and entrepreneurs. 

This Conference serves as a key platform to share insights on quality development trends, quality management policies and successful experiences and practices. The deliberations and opinions will promote bold ambition and pragmatic actions in quality development and its applications for accelerating sustainable socioeconomic progress in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond. 

I trust this Conference will further enhance fruitful cooperation between the State Administration for Market Regulation of China and ESCAP – especially through our regional institution, the Centre for Sustainable Agricultural Mechanization based in Beijing. 

ESCAP also stands ready to support other member States to enhance regional cooperation and integration and boost safe, inclusive and sustainable development, including through quality development. 

Thank you very much, and I wish the Conference all success.